Dallas Cowboys Legend Larry Allen Dies ‘Suddenly’ At 52

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Rusty Weiss Contributor
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NFL Hall of Famer Larry Allen, an 11-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Dallas Cowboys, passed away at the age of 52, the team announced Monday.

Allen is widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen to ever play the game. He is a member of the team’s famed “Ring of Honor.”

A cause of death has not been revealed, but a team statement indicated his passing was sudden, taking place during a family vacation to Mexico.

“The Dallas Cowboys are very saddened to share that Cowboys legend, Super Bowl Champion, Cowboys Ring of Honor member, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Allen passed away suddenly while on vacation in Mexico with his family on Sunday,” the team wrote.

“Larry, known for his great athleticism and incredible strength, was one of the most respected, accomplished offensive linemen to ever play in the NFL. His versatility and dependability were also signature parts of his career,” the statement continued.

“Through that, he continued to serve as inspiration for many other players defining what it meant to be a great teammate, competitor and winner.”

The team indicates arrangements for a memorial honoring Allen’s life will be forthcoming “in the near future.”

Tributes have already begun pouring in on social media, led by a statement on Twitter via the NFL.

“The NFL family is deeply saddened by the passing of Hall of Famer, Super Bowl Champion and Cowboys legend, Larry Allen,” they said. “Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle and current host of Inside the Bears, Anthony Adams, says that Allen’s passing is a reminder of how fleeting life can be.

“Rest in peace Big Homie!! Only 52. Tell your loved ones, ‘I Love You’ today, tomorrow is not promised,” a social media post from Adams reads. “The strongest lineman ever.”

Several of the tributes to Allen remarked not only about Allen’s incredible strength (he bench-pressed 700 lbs.) but the speed he possessed despite being listed at 6′ 3″, 325 lbs. (RELATED: Cowboys Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch Tragically Retires At 28)

“Larry Allen was one of the most incredible athletes the NFL has ever seen,” ESPN draft analyst Field Yates said. “Maybe the most dominant run blocker ever, but legitimately insane speed too.”

Yates included a video clip of Allen as a rookie in 1994 chasing down a New Orleans Saints defender who had just picked off Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. Allen nearly ran the entire field before catching up to the Saints player and making a touchdown-saving tackle.

The announcers in the clip were beside themselves at what they had just witnessed.

“This guy’s got a rocket booster strapped to his back!” Dan Dierdorf shouted.

The Cowboys went on to win that contest, 24-16.

Having played 203 career games, Allen is the rare player to be featured on two NFL All-Decade Teams (1990s and 2000s). He played in two NFC Championship games and was the starting right guard in Super Bowl XXX, where the Cowboys earned a 27-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Allen, in an interview with the Dallas Morning News in 1998, said he took pride in trying to wear down his opponents. Not to mention the opposing head coach.

“My objective is to make the other guy quit. You can tell when it’s starting to happen because he stops rushing as hard and when you run-block he doesn’t resist as much,” he boasted.

“I like when they have to keep rotating three or four people into the game to try to find someone to get the job done.”

Allen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

“He was deeply loved and cared for by his wife, Janelle – whom he referred to as his heart and soul, his daughters Jayla and Loriana and son, Larry III,” the Cowboys added.

“The Jones family and the Cowboys extend their deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Allen family and grieve along with the many other friends and Cowboys teammates that also loved Larry.”